My photographs and words cannot do justice to the beauty of Wayanad in the monsoons. Even the drive from Bangalore to Wayanad was like stepping into a series of postcards. The sky and clouds were being quite unpredictable- the sky would turn from a hazy grey to an azure blue within minutes. It didn’t matter though, because in both scenarios, the scenery looked absolutely gorgeous!
Sunflower farms in Gundlupet, en route Wayanad
The gorgeous scenery on the way to Wayanad
Locals ranted about climate change and its impact on Wayanad; but, looking at the greenery around us and the pleasant weather, it clearly didn’t look like a district suffering a drought. I can’t imagine what this place must have been a couple of years ago in all its glory. Misty clouds descending on lush green forests, verdant paddy fields against the palm trees, spice scented trails and vast tea gardens; it’s like you’ve escaped into a fairytale land with soothing hues of green all around you. If you’re not really the adventurous kind to trek or zip-line across the forest; then you can just walk or drive around the place and explore it at your own pace and the way you like. That’s exactly what we did- simply wandered about Wayanad!
Pluck vegetables at an organic farm
Huge okra like I had never seen before, fresh green chillies, luscious red tomatoes, I could just collect all of them and take them home. Amoos organic farm is right at the edge of a forest. Sometimes wild elephants and even big cats come right till the farm quipped, Mr. Namboothiri, the owner. In fact, while he was giving us a tour of the farm, we could hear some howls from the forest. It was scary, but exciting. Mr. Namboothiri also lets his guests cook a lovely meal with the plucked vegetables. An LIC agent by day, he moonlights as an organic farmer. Farming is his passion which was quite evident in the way he showed us around the farm. His talks made me realize how we have come a full circle and gone back to sustainable farming methods.
Play with the clouds at Lakkidi
The drive to the town of Lakkidi (the highest location in Wayanad) is a scenic one interspersed with forests, lakes, tea gardens and mountains. You can see the clouds descending onto the mountains. As you go up the narrow and winding road, it’s almost as though you’re chasing the clouds, and as you reach the elevation you’re submerged in them. I kid you not- it’s quite misty and you can barely see a few metres ahead of you. A peep into the valley is a gorgeous sight. Beware of monkeys here. And, pay a visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Pookot Lake en route Lakkidi
Take a walk amidst tea plantations and paddy fields
En route from Sulthan Bathery to Vythiri, you will come across lots of tea plantations and paddy fields. And, you will not be able to resist yourself from getting out of the car and sauntering around. The air around you is so pure and unadulterated- it’s like you are high on oxygen! Some of the tea plantations offer a guided tour, but since we had already taken one in Coonoor, we didn’t opt for one here. And, then you have pristine paddy fields as far as your eyes can see. You can’t be more at peace and connected to nature!
Enjoy a tree house experience
Wayanad’s wilderness is best enjoyed living in a tree house! I have always fantasized about staying in tree houses, since I read about them so much while growing up. We stayed at one in Kedara Village Resort. It was cozy and quaint overlooking paddy fields and towering palm trees. Waking up to the sound of chirping birds and watching the sun play hide and seek; it was perfect! Where we stayed was very basic, if you’re looking out for something more luxurious, then you can check out Vythiri Village Resort or Tranquil Resort.
The view from our room
Drive through the gorgeous Pulpally road
We were on the lookout for Chethalayam waterfalls when we discovered the scenic Pulpally road concealed amidst the dense forest cover. We didn’t end up visiting the waterfalls because when we reached, we found out that it was off-limits to travelers. Of late there have been cases of wild elephants venturing out of the forests onto the road leading to the waterfall and it wasn’t safe anymore. But, we weren’t as disappointed, since the drive through Pulpally road itself was so picturesque. If you’re lucky you may just spot a wild animal or two!
Have you visited Wayanad? What was your travel itinerary like?
The Hungry Trotter Travel Hacks
- The closest airport to Wayanad is Kozhikode which is 85 kms away.
- You can also drive down from Bangalore, as the drive is a very scenic one. ( 282 kms)
- Stay options in Wayanad are very varied and across budgets- you can choose to live in a coffee plantation, a tea estate, a rainforest, or amidst the paddy fields. Take your pick!